It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas everywhere you go… Didn’t the song go like this? No? Well anyway, we all know the feeling of those Christmas Eves whith Grandma sleeping in one corner, the fireplace burning bright and a thick cooking scent in the air. That may seem like the perfect picture of the holidays, but it’s actually not the healthiest one! Let’s make Christmas healthy this time around!
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me… 12 tips to obtain the perfect indoor environment to host the dinner (or lunch) of your dreams. (And also a lot of holiday-themed song quotes for you to catch!)
1) The scent of candles fill the household
Nothing yells Christmas more than candles – and who doesn’t love them? They help create that cosy, dimly lit environment we spend all year fantasizing about. However, paraffin candles are known to pollute the indoor air you breathe. The solution is rather simple, though: make sure to only use beeswax candles. Not only do they not pollute the air, they also help purify it!
2) In his hands he held a pair of shoes
We know it’s hard when you have guests to leave everyone’s shoes at the door, but it’s really important to avoid bringing in pollutants from outside. So, if you really can’t provide them all with comfy slippers to walk around inside, place at least a big (maybe holiday-themed) doormat at every entrance!
3) The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful
We know, we know, it’s winter and winter means, for those who have it, a rustic fireplace to enjoy the sight of. But to enjoy a healthy Christmas, we have to warn you: unfortunately, your beloved inglenook is also releasing very dangerous pollutants into your home’s air. Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, particulate matter. We don’t want that in our environment, do we? So, take a few precautions at least: use only dry, seasoned, wood (never wet, painted or treated wood!), regularly inspect your fireplace and make sure to increase ventilation while the fire is burning.
4) Baby it’s cold outside
Did you know? It’s a common misconception that people get colds and flus more often during the winter months because of the cold temperatures outside. In fact, it’s because during these months we spend more time inside and are exposed to higher concentrations of airborne pollutants (including cold and flu viruses). So let’s avoid spreading bacteria around, getting all our relatives sick for Christmas. Make sure the air quality is good indoors, and ventilate every room!
5) Glad tidings we bring, to you and your kin
Chances are, if you are going to host Christmas dinner or lunch this year, or even if you are just going to attend it, that you are going to find yourself in the company of a lot of people under the same roof, be it relatives, extended family, friends. And what do people do? They breathe! And by breathing, they release Carbon Dioxide, which is not harmful per se, but in lack of proper ventilation it can build up, leading to drowsiness, shortness of breath and even headaches. A healthy Christmas shouldn’t be uncomfortable, right?
6) Winter nights can be awful cold, without someone to hold
Alright, finding the perfect temperature for everyone’s needs is certainly no easy task. But, indoor air quality is also about comfort – so trying to achieve the best possibile thermal comfort for all your guests is something that should be at least taken into consideration, possibily without spending loads on heating bills. Studies say 20 to 24° C (68.5 to 75° F) is the recommended indoor temperature range during winter. Feel free to adjust it a bit according to your guests needs, but not too much!
7) Humidity built the Snowman
During winter months, air heating can lead to a significant decrease in relative humidity levels, resulting in problems such as dry skin, cough, cracked lips and excessive thirst. Fortunately, this can easily be solved with a humidity monitor and the use of a humidifier!
8) Dust underneath the mistletoe leaves
There’s probably no need to say this, but dust isn’t only an unpleasant sight. It can trigger allergy and asthma, it can make you sneeze, cough, irritate your eyes. Prepare your home for this healthy Christmas by vaccuming and sweeping floors with the mop. But let’s not leave it at that! Make sure furniture, carpets, and even blinds and curtains are dust free. A little pro tip? Use a damp rag to dust the leaves of your house plants or take the plant and run it under the sprayer in your sink. Not only will you remove dust, but your plants will thank you for helping them breathe better and absorb the suns energy more effectively.
9) Hurrah for fun; the pudding’s done, Hurrah for pumpkin pie!
Cooking: it’s certainly the main business while getting ready for Christmas Lunch/Dinner. It’s also one of the main sources of indoor pollution, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it. Just take a few precautions, first! Turn on your kitchen range hood a few minutes before you start cooking and leave it on up to fifteen minutes after you finish: it will reduce cooking odors and remove excess heat and humidity from your home!
10) December’s fingers touch my window
Yes, it’s cold, and you probably don’t want to open your windows. In buildings where windows are always closed, though, the risk of transmitting infection diseases is four times higher. So make sure to leave them open a couple of times a day minimum, for at least 5 minutes each!
11) In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Replacing air filters may be hard to remember, but can lead to huge improvements in your indoor environment. We only want Christmas to be in the air, not some other unpleasant stuff! HVAC systems should ideally be serviced twice a year – once before the summer cooling season, and once before the winter heating season. Make sure you replace them before Christmas, if you haven’t already, to enjoy a healthy environment!
12) Have a happy holiday, everyone’s dancing merrily
You can do a lot to improve your indoor air, and still never be sure that everything’s under control. Air pollution is sneaky, most of the times you can’t smell it, or see it. Ease your mind with the certainty of an IAQ monitor. The most advanced ones, like Airgloss ProSense, can even smartly handle your HVAC system, so that you have nothing on your mind while preparing the best (and healthiest!) Christmas event ever.
Did you catch all the christmas-themed song quotes? Let us know in the comments if you are a true Christmas fan. Also, if you are interested in knowing more about Airgloss you can read more on our website or catch up on our background working with NASA.